Wednesday, June 6, 2007

"For God's Sake, Please Stop the Aid!"

In Der Spiegel's interview with Kenyan economist James Shikwati, I saw viewpoints I would expect to see only at sites like Mises and LRC. I practically had to check the URL to make sure I was at the right site.

SHIKWATI: As absurd as it may sound: Development aid is one of the reasons for Africa's problems. If the West were to cancel these payments, normal Africans wouldn't even notice. Only the functionaries would be hard hit. Which is why they maintain that the world would stop turning without this development aid...

SPIEGEL: Even in a country like Kenya, people are starving to death each year. Someone has got to help them.

SHIKWATI: But it has to be the Kenyans themselves who help these people. When there's a drought in a region of Kenya, our corrupt politicians reflexively cry out for more help. This call then reaches the United Nations World Food Program -- which is a massive agency of apparatchiks who are in the absurd situation of, on the one hand, being dedicated to the fight against hunger while, on the other hand, being faced with unemployment were hunger actually eliminated.

SPIEGEL: If the World Food Program didn't do anything, the people would starve.

SHIKWATI: I don't think so. In such a case, the Kenyans, for a change, would be forced to initiate trade relations with Uganda or Tanzania, and buy their food there. This type of trade is vital for Africa. It would force us to improve our own infrastructure, while making national borders -- drawn by the Europeans by the way -- more permeable. It would also force us to establish laws favoring market economy.
(via Sidewinder77@Reddit)

No comments: